I should have known better. I will admit that. The warning signs were all there, but I forged ahead because the low price was so tempting. I was planning a trip to see my daughter in Tennessee and my husband found the irresistible ‘low fares’ of Allegiant Airlines. I mean sure it only flew to Memphis, three hours away from where we wanted to go, but hey – I have always wanted to check out Memphis. I could just rent a car and make this a fun bonus to our vacation.
And yes, the flights are ONLY on Fridays and Mondays – I mean that’s a little weird, but hey with such a low price we could work around that.
Then the fees started to add up. Extra fees for luggage – okay lots of airlines do that. Extra fees for a carry-on bag? Well the price is really low. An extra fee to reserve a seat? Well I can’t stand the whole flight. An extra fee if I don’t print my boarding pass at home? That could be a challenge when I am travelling – what if I don’t have a printer? Charging for drinks and snacks on the plane – gosh these fees are really adding up, the price is still low, but not nearly as low as it seemed at first.
I was happy once we got to Memphis, and we enjoyed our vacation, but as we got on the road to return to Memphis I got a text saying our flight was cancelled. That’s it – no other info, just cancelled. What do I do now – I have to turn in the rental car. I don’t live in Memphis. I have to get home. What am I supposed to do? I tried calling the airlines. I waited on hold for over 45 minutes and finally got through to an agent who simply said, the flight is cancelled. I asked how I am supposed to get home. He replied, “We will have another flight tomorrow.” Ummm – tomorrow? How does that help me today? He then says he can refund the return portion of my trip. Sure but you guys are the lowest cost airline – how am I supposed to get home? No response from the agent.
Thank goodness for technology – my daughter got online and found a flight home, unfortunately the cost was $500 more than the Allegiant flight.
I have tried to contact the airlines to get back the extra cost I had to pay to get home, but the only option to contact them is via e-mail and according to their website it can take up to 60 days for a response. I’m not too optimistic but I will keep trying.
Unfortunately it was a very expensive lesson for me – Beware of discount airlines. You really do get what you pay for. Next trip I will use Southwest, I may pay a bit more up front, but I am fairly sure I will have less frustration.